3 Ways To Convince Customers About Their Purchasing Decision


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The adage “there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip” has never been truer than in the case of a customer conversion. No matter how good your marketing communication is, prospective customers can always be tentative and may seek reassurance about their purchasing decisions. This is basic human behavior and as a business, the onus is on you to provide your customers with the necessary platform where they can seek validation and assurance.

This tentativeness on the part of customers is more pronounced in online businesses compared to brick and mortar stores. One primary reason is that in the physical world, the cost of backing off from a purchase is higher – for instance, a customer who wants to buy a toast maker needs to drive to a shop, test the various products and stand in the billing queue to make the purchase. Backing off from this is a waste of a lot of time and money. That is not the case with online purchases though. There is no billing queue and product research takes minimal effort. As a result, a tentative customer can always choose to bounce away from the Checkout page without much fuss.

So how does an online business provide the reassurance and reduce the tentativeness of a prospective customer? The following three tips may help.

Free Trial : If you are a product business, one of the easiest ways to convince a tentative customer to sign up is by offering a free trial. Letting the customer try your product without paying for it helps them calm their nerves and allows them to “touch and feel” with no obligation to pay. This way, when a customer eventually does pay, they do so with full confidence in what they are doing and are hence less tentative. From a business standpoint, free trials are a double-edged sword. Since trials are free, it helps your marketing team sign up a larger pool of prospective customers than you would have by only accepting paying customers. This gives you a constant stream of new leads to reach out to. But on the other hand, free trials can also potentially blunt your marketing strategies since you do not get paid when the customer the signs up.

Testimonials/Reviews : Human beings constantly seek validation and approval. This is no less true during a purchasing decision. It is for this reason that testimonials and reviews are extremely important. When a prospective customer reads from credible third party sources about their experience with your business, it helps them make a better purchasing decision. However, this is a path that you must tread with caution. The internet today is full of fake reviews and customers are often wary of them. As a business, you must take steps to ensure customers trust the reviews they read. This can be ensured in two ways – you may set up a user-generated review platform on your own website (like this reviews page on the Crest Financial website). Alternatively, you can claim your business on popular platforms like Yelp, YellowPages or Capterra (for software businesses) and respond to customer complaints and feedback there. In both cases, you provide a direct connect with customers that help establish credibility among prospective customers.

Money Back Guarantee : In some cases, free trials may not be possible. This is because of high set up investments or operational costs. For instance, consider a company like Comcast that provides connectivity to businesses. It is not viable for a business in this industry to provide “free trials” to all prospective customers with no guarantee that they may ever pay for the service. As a business, you may sometimes want to be sure that the customer you are dealing with is genuine and not a money sink. In such cases, it is a good idea to offer a money back guarantee instead of a free trial. The difference is that in this case, the customer has to pay upfront with guarantees that they shall be refunded if the service is not as advertised. While it may not seem too different from the free trial, one catch is that money back guarantees are backed by a contractual agreement. That is, the business is not liable to pay back the guaranteed amount unless they did not live up to the elements specified in the contract. In other words, a customer cannot fire a business for no reason and expect refunds. Instead, this is only possible under specific circumstances. However, for a layman, there is little to separate free trials from money back guarantees except for when the transaction happens and is thus a great way to assure a nervous prospect.


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